PALM SPRINGS, CA (February 28, 2017) – Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., (CA-36), has invited David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) to attend tonight's Joint Session of Congress.  Representative Ruiz is a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee. He and other Democratic members of the Committee held a press conference asking constituents to share stories on how a repeal of the ACA would impact families and communities.
“As a Federally Qualified Health Center serving Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, only 17% of D.A.P.’s nearly 4,000 clients have access to private insurance. With repeal of Medicaid expansion and other provisions currently in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is very likely that over 50 percent of D.A.P. clients would lose their health coverage,” stated Brinkman. “This would jeopardize the health of our community’s HIV positive individuals and severely limit D.A.P.’s ability to prevent new infections.”
“That’s why the coverage provided through the ACA has been critical to D.A.P.’s efforts to address the HIV epidemic in our community,” Brinkman continued.
As an organization, D.A.P. has committed to the goals of the United States National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) as well as the World Health Organization 90-90-90 target to end the HIV epidemic by 2020. From a healthcare standpoint, this goal means 90% of people living with HIV will know their status, 90% of all people diagnosed with HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all these people will achieve viral suppression.
“There is no more critical tool to achieve this 90-90-90 target than the continued access to care that the ACA provides for the most vulnerable in our local community and our nation,” said Brinkman.  “Repeal of the ACA would pose a likely insurmountable barrier to achieving this goal and directly impact D.A.P.’s most effective care and prevention strategies.”
“D.A.P. is committed to working to ensure that any new health care legislation would retain or add provisions to ensure that the gains we’ve made in ending the HIV epidemic in the US are preserved,” concluded Brinkman.